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« Four Seasons of Change | Flexibility & Change »

How Change Inspires Change

As organizers and coaches, the work we do with our clients is change-focused. We’re present as our clients experience the joys and challenges of pursuing their goals and dreams. I was curious about the residual effect facilitating change for others had on us.  To learn more I reached out to a wonderful group of organizing and coaching colleagues (Seana Turner, Sue West, Andrea Sharb, Sheila Delson, Ellen Delap, Denise Lee, Yota Schneider, Cameron Gott, Leslie Josel.) I asked them, “How has one of the changes your client made personally influenced or inspired you to make a change?”  Their responses are thoughtful and motivating. My deepest gratitude goes to each of them for sharing their stories of inspiration and change. Keep reading to discover how change influences more change.


How has one of the changes your client made personally influenced or inspired you to make a change? . . .

Change Inspires Courage

“To me, change is all about courage. I once worked with a client who was having a difficult time letting go of some belongings she had carried throughout her life. The intensity of her internal conflict was palpable, and she literally took a deep breath to summon the nerve to give a few pieces away. Her courage inspired me to make a financial change in my own life that I had been avoiding – one that was uncomfortable and required resolve. The first step was the hardest, but recalling this client’s ‘deep breath’ kept me moving forward.”

Seana Turner – Professional Organizer, Blogger, Speaker & Life Coach


Change Inspires Self-Advocacy

“When my clients first come to me, whether for coaching, organizing, or my hybrid approach, many wrestle with low self-compassion and self-esteem. One consequence is they don’t know how to stand up for what they need or want in some aspects of life. I found that I’d ask myself: Am I standing up for myself? Am I asking for what I need or want? Am I being clear and specific with myself? Where’s my line? As a friend, partner or family member and a coach, it’s imperative I ask these questions often to get clear on where I land.” 

Sue West, COC®, CPO-CD® – ADHD & Life Management Coach, Organizer, Author, & Educator


Change Inspires Improved System

“My clients influence me personally every day and I am continually inspired by the changes they make and what they accomplish.  Currently I am especially inspired by the changes one client is making with respect to management of tasks. It's been awesome supporting him in creating change over the past year and I found his change so inspiring that I found myself examining and upgrading my own task management system along the way. Our systems look nothing alike, but they are built upon the same foundation of curiosity and a desire to create a system tailored to an individual style.”

Andrea Sharb – Certified Professional Organizer & Productivity ADHD Coach


Change Inspires New Perspective

“The change that happened for me was monumental and it has affected my life personally and professionally with regard to tolerance and patience. It occurred early in my career while working with several challenging clients who often seemed resistive when progress was slow. I learned that change is something that occurs at different levels, over different amounts of time, depending on each individual and circumstance. I’ve since substituted the word change to ‘transition,’ which creates an image more easily embraced because it doesn’t imply a scary immediate expectancy, but rather something that can occur gently and at a pace that can be controlled depending on the situation and the people involved.”

Sheila Delson, CPO-CD® – Professional Organizer, Author, & ICD Program Mentor


Change Inspires Better Lists

“I’ve always been a big list maker. It comes as a natural tendency to me. Recently when working with a diligent long term client who has struggled with making lists, I realized I could make better use of my natural tendency by making a thorough list each night for the next day, going beyond the basics. Seeing his relief as he made the list helped me realize I still had thoughts, tasks and more in my head that I could record. Such a simple next step, but what a big change this is for less stress and more productivity.”

Ellen Delap, CPO® – Certified Professional Organizer, Certified Family Manager, Productivity Consultant & Blogger


Change Inspires More Balance

“A couple years ago, a client spoke of crafting the way a starving man speaks of a good meal. We charted out a strategy for her to craft and declutter. At subsequent appointments she delighted in showing me the progress of her decluttering and her crafts. During our discussion on how well this strategy was working, she realized that she had erroneously assumed that decluttering was too consuming to accommodate joyful activities. This hit me: what things had I pushed aside? I began to seek out time to play music every week and as a result I feel more balanced.”

Denise Lee, CPO® – Professional Organizer & Coach


Change Inspires New Space

“More than a year ago, a client was at a turning point with his chiropractic practice. His office lease was expiring and he needed to make a decision. While reviewing his current state of affairs and his vision for the future, it became apparent that letting go of the space would allow him to reduce his overhead and free his creative thinking and ability to take risks. Soon after our meeting, he found an ideal space and moved. Within a few months he knew he had made the right decision. Working with him inspired me to reconsider ‘my space.’ The time was right for me to hang a permanent shingle instead of depending on the phone and various locations to work with clients. One thing led to another and I now have a brand new space that I love and inspires me to think much bigger than ever.” 

Yota Schneider – Seasons of Change Certified Master Coach, Workshop Facilitator, Blogger, & Mindfulness Mediation Practitioner


Change Inspires Bigger Thinking

“I find inspiration from all of my clients and the changes they commit to. When I think of one example that has inspired me to make a change I think about one of my clients and his unwavering vision to better the lives of underserved youth. He has recently fulfilled his dream of starting his own company that will revolutionize the field of social impact. He has overcome obstacles and built a top-notch team by staying true to his vision. He has inspired me to think bigger and think bolder. It's a good change.” 

Cameron Gott, PCC, BCC – ADHD Coach for Entrepreneurs and Professionals


Change Inspires Less Guilt

“I work with many clients that are overcome with guilt. They are not organized enough, or have too much stuff, or don’t study enough or even parent enough. So watching some of my clients throw away the guilt has been a huge lesson for me. I’m practicing what I am preaching! Watching my clients embrace “enough” – good enough, organized enough, etc., as lead me to as well! It’s a slow process, as we all well know, but one that I am consciously working on every day. It’s quite freeing to give up the guilt!” 

Leslie Josel – ADHD Coach, Author, & Speaker


In reading these stories, it occurred to me how powerful change is, not just for the change seekers, but also for change observers and facilitators. Psychologist Daniel Goleman said, “Emotions are contagious.” Perhaps watching others change is “contagious” too. It certainly is inspiring. We think, “If she can do it, so can I!”  What or who has inspired change for you? I invite you to share your thoughts and stories. Come join the conversation!

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Reader Comments (10)

Love all these perspectives on change! It is powerful what we do with our clients and how our clients effect each of us. Thanks for sharing everyone!

February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Not only clients could inspire change. I found that people in general, friends, family and acquaintances inspire me in different ways. Some of them through their experience, some of them through their mistakes.
To me, the important thing, is being aware of all that knowledge and wisdom that is hidden at plain sight, and if I pay attention could reveal me something good about myself and my current (or future) situation. Everybody has something to teach or a way to inspire, to make a "transition" in life.
By the way, Sheila Delson's "transition" instead of "change" concept is really powerful to me.

February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

@Ellen- The change effect is powerful indeed. So grateful for these stories of change. Thank you for your contribution to the post.

@Nacho- If we're on the look, you're so right that inspiration is all around us (family, friends, strangers, and beyond.) Watching someone commit to doing something different and pursuing that path can give us the impetus we need to change perspective, alter our path, and take action. As you said, the key is to "pay attention."

February 11, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

So great to read the thoughts of my associates! "Transition"... the idea of finding a healthy way to represent our own needs... ditching the guilt. I'm learning from all of you:) What a great topic, Linda!

February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

The greatest thing about change is that we are forever a participant, right? We change every day because we feel different every day. Nothing stays the same. Most of the time it's automatic but the real work comes when it's with full commitment and intention.

Now back from vacation, I sense a new change in myself. Stepping away from my typical life has shifted my perspective once again. I referred to it in my recent blog as my "virtual cleanse," but it was way more than that. It was a very enlightening experience.

A new client of mine has impressed me with her commitment to "get her life back," and through our work together, I've witness an incredible change. The process is hard, and although I have facilitated this shift, it is her that has done all the work. She has endured so much in her life but she understood that enlisting help was the motivation she needed. She inspires me every day and I learn from her as much as she learns from me. We are both changing through this remarkable journey.

February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Borg

In my line of work, I'm rarely involved with clients on a personal level, but they continually inspire me nonetheless. Whenever a client asks me about a particular marketing strategy that I haven't tried before, I can't help but wonder whether it's one I should be implementing myself.

February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Seana- I'm with you…LOVE this topic too. And so much to learn from our clients' change, the change they inspired for us personally, reframing and more.

@Nancy- Wow! Change seems to be very much the mood of what you're experiencing right now between the every day changes you notice and partake in to the changes you seek to the changes others make that in turn inspire you. Wonderful!

@Janet- What a marvelous thing to be in a continuous state of learning, growth, and inspiration!

February 11, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love this question, Linda! It gave me pause. I had to stop and reflect on the work I've done for the past twelve years. I realized how much my clients inspire me to be more, grow, and think bigger. I can relate so much with what Cameron and Leslie are talking about.
I tend to be tough on myself but I always talk to my clients about accepting "good enough." It wasn't long before I realized that I too could embrace the concept :-))

February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYota Schneider

Fascinating. We meet clients where they are, so they can learn, shift, accept. And what are we each saying; that we go through this as well, learning from our clients. Curious and open, we see a new perspective or think about change in our lives. Push, pull or gentle transition, we do change. Another inspiring question!

February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSue west

@Yota- It's interesting when those personal "ah-has" arrive…realizing that we can help others find a path or change a perspective that might be something worth considering for ourselves too. A certain amount of awareness is needed for that to happen. But when it does, we see beautiful stories like the ones shared here.

@Sue- It's like being around people that are positive or spending time with those that are negative…both attitudes/moods can be catching. Being around change also seems to be catching. In helping others to ask the questions, in a "curious and open" frame of mind, we are more likely to embrace change for ourselves.

February 12, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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